Sugarcane thrips was detected in South African sugarcane in 2004. Since then it has become widespread in South Africa. The South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) conducts field surveys to monitor this pest, but this is time intensive and costly. As a first step towards evaluation of remote sensing for thrips monitoring, a preliminary experiment and analysis at leaf level were conducted using a handheld field spectroradiometer covering the 350 to 2500 nm range of the electromagnetic spectrum to detect sugarcane thrips damage. Reflectance spectra of sugarcane leaves with different levels of thrips damage, from two popular varieties (N19 and N12), were measured and statistically analysed using one-way analysis of variance, sensitivity analysis and canonical discriminant analysis. The results of the analyses showed that there were significant differences in spectral reflectance and derived variables used in the study at the different levels of damage. The red edge region of the visible portion gave the highest significant differences and levels of separability among the damage classes. It is hypothesized that this might be associated with chlorophyll and nitrogen deficiencies induced by thrips.
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Document Type: Research Article
School of Environmental Sciences, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
South African Sugarcane Research Institute, Private Bag X02, Mount Edgecombe, South Africa
Publication date: 01 May 2010
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